Jets’ Michael Carter excited for more responsibility in 2023 during Breece Hall’s recovery

Bills Tremaine Edmunds makes a tackle against the Jets
New York Jets running back Michael Carter is brought down by Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

FLORHAM PARK — New York Jets running back Michael Carter wasn’t thrilled with his 2022 season. A dip in offensive production coupled with a revolving door along the offensive line made the North Carolina prospect call it the “worst” of his career.

Times have changed though for Carter and the Jets. The acquisition of Aaron Rodgers is expected to change life around 1 Jets Drive for both sides of the football, but specifically for Carter’s development. 

“I was a little too emotional last year…I know what I’m capable of…He makes a big difference,” Carter said with a smile. He later emphasized how he had to see a lot of stacked boxes last year but doesn’t expect to be seeing that in 2023. 

New York’s fourth-round pick in 2021 has also gotten advice from All-Pros in other positions as well to make the most of his opportunity in the league. Carter said that Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James told him the importance of endurance and always being available when your number is called. 

Carter’s number is expected to be called a lot early in the season and even during training camp. With Breece Hall recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last season, Carter is expected to get the bulk of the work as the team’s feature back. 

It’s an opportunity that he wants to be aggressive with so long as the team doesn’t rush back Hall from injury. 

“I feel good about it. I’ve done it before. No need to rush him (Hall) back,” Carter stated simply.

His work ethic has never been questioned either. New York’s coaching staff has been more than impressed with what Carter has shown to this point and seems to have no problem letting him earn the bulk of the carries at the moment. 

“Professionalism is the best way I can explain it. He comes in and does his job. He’s been a great player all offseason. Excited about him,” head coach Robert Saleh explained. “It’s a chance for all of them especially when the preseason games hit to secure the rock.”

For Carter, he’ll have to prove to New York that they don’t need additional reinforcements at the position. Dalvin Cook is a free agent the Jets have reportedly been interested in at the right price, but so long as Carter excels on the field, the less likely a move for an additional running back will be made. 

The ball is squarely in Carter’s hands now. 

Carter speaks on Saquon Barkley-Running back conundrums

Carter may be an open book about the opportunities coming his way but he didn’t hold anything back when talking about others at his position either. 

Hours after New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley signed a one-year $11 million deal to report to camp on Wednesday, the Jets’ new feature back sounded off on why it is “blasphemous” that one of the best at his position is currently going through a “prove-it” contract. 

Giants Saquon Barkley
Saquon BarkleyAP Photo/John Munson

“Running backs are offensive weapons. There’s no one on the field that does what we do,” Carter stated. “the league has always been a passing league, We know that but when you get to the playoffs you got to have a running game.”

Carter was one of several running backs to jump on Austin Ekeler’s Zoom call last week to discuss the decrease in value the entire position is currently feeling. Other backs like Nick Chubb, Derrick Henry, and Christian McCaffrey were also in attendance. 

While there hasn’t been a worthy conclusion to the running back’s plight for better pay, there are bigger things for the Jets’ runner to worry about as the team continues training camp practices before their first preseason game next week. 

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